Hamas to 'continue using civilians as human shields' as Israel steps up ground offensive

Hamas to 'continue using civilians as human shields' as Israel steps up ground offensive

Hamas will 'continue using civilians as human shields'

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 29/10/2023

- 14:24

Sir Simon Mayall says there are 'huge problems' with taking on Hamas in urban areas

HAMAS will continue to use Palestinian civilians as human shields as it tries to counter an Israeli ground invasion, according to a former Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff.

Asked about the practical problems of taking on Hamas in an urban area, Sir Simon Mayall told GB News: “They are huge. Many commentators of course, they are very conscious, the IDF, the Israeli government, very conscious that the new cycle runs fast, the battle of the narratives continues.

“But the requirement, almost the imperative, is to crush Hamas, it is really paramount in their security requirements now, but they're also very conscious that Hamas will play the propaganda game, which they've done so successfully.

“They'll continue to use Gazans as human shields. They'll use mosques, they'll use hospitals, but equally the Israeli security forces will have to go in, defence forces will have to go in there, they’re going in at the moment, as we know. This has been a, what we call, preparing the battlespace, shaping conditions.”

Sir Simon Mayall

Simon Mayall says Hamas will use Palestinians as a 'human shield'


In a discussion with Camilla Tominey, he continued: “They're doing raids in there, they've clearly got an awful lot of surveillance above, they'll be using, of course, bunker busters to try and destroy the tunnels and take out the command network.

“We know they've taken out some of the top Hamas commanders, but eventually they will have to go in and at that stage of course we will find the awful collateral damage and obviously straight military casualties.”


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He added: “They’ve done a lot of [training] for fighting in built-up areas, the Americans have, the Israelis certainly have this sort of mini urban environment with tunnels, with cellars, with high rise, that they've used to train on.

“None of it will take away from the from the difficulty of this, but at the end of the day, if they are really going to try and establish a genuine security cordon, they're going to have to destroy that tunnel network, which means they're going to have to be dominate the ground above in order to go below.”

It comes as Benjamin Netanyahu declared the "second stage" of Israel's ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

In a press conference in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, the Israeli premier told people to people for a “long and hard” offensive.

“This is the second stage of the war whose goals are clear – to destroy Hamas’s governing and military capabilities and to bring the hostages home,” Netanyahu told reporters.

“We are only at the start. We will destroy the enemy above ground and below ground.”

Gaza continues to be under an almost total communications blackout amid intense Israeli bombardment.

Israel has urged Palestinians within the enclave to move towards the south of the enclave.

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